Ever since I first heard the story, “Peter Pan” became one of my favorites. The story of a boy who never wanted to grow up impacted my life, even as an adult. I have always said that I don’t want to grow up all the way. For me, growing up has meant accepting life’s crushing of your dreams. Maybe this is how Peter Pan felt. I understand this is not what it means by growing up, but there is a little piece of the crushing that is true.
Over the past four years, I have found myself wandering in the desert for what feels like 40 years. I have made several attempts at “growing up” and have felt like I have been trying to walk in someone else’s shoes. What I have come to find is that those shoes will never fit.
In some ways, I have put my dreams on hold to do “what successful people do.” Please do not get me wrong, during this time, I have done things that fill me with passion, such as writing and publishing two books, “31 Days of Faith” and “Leadership Fitness,” and even started a non-profit, but the majority of my time was spent doing something I dreaded.
The truth is, for the first time, I felt I needed to settle. I realize now that settling and not fulfilling my dreams will never work out and only drain the life out of me. I cannot imagine a more dismal existence.
So what did this teach me as a leader? Why did I have to go through this process? As a leader, this experience has taught me that just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should do it. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when we need to do things we do not like, but for the long-term, if something you are doing feels like it is sucking the life out of you, them, it might just be time to move on. I had to go through this process to refine my focus and continue down the self-discovery path and begin aligning my passions with my purpose.
My process began this past weekend, and I have outlined a path to achieve my desired success: no more side trips, no more detours, and no more wandering. If I want out of the desert wandering, I must remember my dream to “never grow up” and continuously dream and bring to life those things purposed inside me.
Knowing who you are is key to success, but we can go years without genuinely understanding our purpose. Have you come to understand your purpose? Even if you have, there is a process from discovering your purpose and beginning to walk in it. Yes, I did intend to write the word “from” there is a process from discovering your purpose and beginning to walk in it.
Finding your purpose is the first step, but creating a plan and processes to achieve it is equally challenging when trying to live out your purpose. If it were easy, everyone would do it! I am here to remind you, “you can do it!” Dream again and live again! You can and will make it!
Just yesterday, I received a package on my porch. I was surprised to receive a delivery because I had not ordered anything. I opened the box with wonder and pulled out the book “Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowman. I asked both of my best friends about the Amazon package, and one of them told me they had sent the book to me after one of our conversations. Already, this book is helpful to help navigate my way out of the desert wandering.
Supportive friends are a key to successfully fulfilling your purpose. Just as my friend supported me by sending me a book, my other best friend challenges me to ensure that I stay on track. Almost daily, he reminds me to continue pushing forward and says things like, “I support you whatever you decide, but I know you, and that’s not it.” Those closest to you who will speak the truth into your life will tell you when you are getting off track if they are indeed your friends. Be open and carefully listen to the feedback of others and autocorrect whenever necessary.
My recommendation for fulfilling your purpose:
- Determine your life’s purpose
- Never allow your dreams to die
- Know who you are
- Create a plan with action steps
- Listen to honest feedback from honest and supportive friends
- Be ready to make adjustments
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